Summer is (un)officially here! And with the summer heat, it is never too early nor too late to start becoming more energy efficient. It’ll help save you money on utilities, keep your house cooler, and give you more peace of mind. Here are 10 ways to an energy efficient summer:
Skip pre-rinsing dishes.
While it is good to scrape off stuck on food before placing your dishes into the dishwasher, there really is no reason to rinse them off. Dishwashers work more efficiently when there is something for it to actually wash off. Plus, you’ll save up to 6,500 gallons of water per year, which makes a difference, especially while we are going through the drought.
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
CFLs last nearly 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 75% less energy. LED bulbs are mercury-free and may last up to five times as long as CFLs. LEDs also throw off very little to no heat; helping to keep your home at a lower temperature while in use.
Replace air filters often.
Dirty air filters can make your furnace work harder, and use more energy. It is recommended to replace air filters every 3 to 4 months.
Seal doors and windows.
Install door sweeps at the bottom of your front and back doors to keep heat from escaping. Always check to make sure any weather stripping around doors and windows is in good shape, and you can feel no air leaks when a hand is placed over the door jam. Remove any old window caulk and apply a fresh seal to retain a lower, cooler temperature.
Upgrade your thermostat.
Programmable thermostats can save you over $100 a year on your energy bill alone.
Install low-flow toilets and shower heads.
Toilets consume up to %40 of a home’s average water use. Using low-flow toilets can save more than 9,000 gallons of water in a single year. A low-flow shower head only uses 1.5 gallons per minute, while most conventional shower heads use 5 gallons or more per minute.
Install ceiling fans or oscillating tower fans.
For summer use, fans can cool a room more efficiently than an air conditioner. For winter use, most ceiling fans have a reverse switch so that their blades force heated air down from the ceiling.
Purchase ENERGY STAR appliances.
Refrigerators, televisions, stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners etc. with this designation can save you a significant amount every month in energy bills. Start by replacing your oldest, least-efficient appliances first, before they have a major problem.
Keep your home darkly lit during the daytime.
This is especially effective if you are not home during the daytime; close all windows and blinds/curtains, and turn off all unused appliances. Unplug all unneeded electronics, including cell phone chargers. The less power being consumed, the better.
Only use heavy appliances at night.
Instead of washing those coupe of loads of laundry during the day, opt to wash at night. During the summer there is a premium on energy used during the daytime, causing significant spikes in price. Washing at night avoids the premium energy price, plus it will not heat up your house too much as well. Ovens should follow the same guide, whether electric or gas.